May 25, 2001
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Thunderstorms postponed the start of day two of the Women’s rowing NCAA Championships at Lake Lanier by three hours, pushing back the start of the first event, the varsity four repechage, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. When the championships resumed, the Ohio State women’s rowing team ended its delay from the NCAA Grand Finals.
Making it second-consecutive appearance at the fifth-annual championships, OSU had never advanced a boat to the Grand Finals in any event. The Buckeyes ended the waiting by winning the varsity four repechage with a time of 7:54.2, more than a full length ahead of Virginia (7:58.49).
Not to be outdone, the second varsity then qualified for the Grand Finals, taking second with a time of 7:06.55, thanks to a mad dash down the stretch that saw OSU overtake two teams to advance.
“We’ve had a great regatta so far,” Andy Teitelbaum, OSU head coach, said. “We have two out of the three boats in the Grand Finals. The fours race was incredibly solid. The second varsity was exciting, with them coming from behind to qualify.”
The OSU four – Meghan McCartney, stroke, Heather Arndts, 3, Erin Stagney, 2, Margot Schumway, Bow, and Marlana Strange, Cox – was in third in the early going, trailing Boston University and Harvard, who traded the lead back and fourth. The Buckeyes overtook the lead just before the halfway point and never looked back, steadily extending their lead until their was open water between OSU and runner-up Virginia, who also qualified for the Grand Finals.
“I’m extremely excited four out athletes,” Robbie Tenenbaum, OSU assistant coach, said. “They are the first boat at OSU to make the Grand Finals. They had a tough heat and had to work through some great teams who were out in front in the first 750 meters. Once they got the bow out ahead, they never looked back. I’m so proud of them.”
Not to be outdone, Elizabeth Hellickson, stroke, Jenni Grubb, 7, Heather Feldman, 6, Mindy Stauffer, 5, Alex Leslie, 4, Jill Davis, 3, Samantha Bomkamp, 2, Angela Wendel, Bow, and Ashley Orr, Cox, who make up the second varsity four, soon became the second boat in OSU history to advance to the Grand Finals. OSU came from behind in the final 400 meters of the 2,000 course, coming from fourth place to overtake Princeton and California and finish second with a time of 7:06.55 to advance to the Grand Finals. Virginia (7:05.9) won the repechage and will join OSU in the finals.
“They were down half a length with 400 meters to go and ended up qualifying by a couple of feet,” Teitelbaum said. “It was a furious sprint they put together at the end.”
The first varsity eight finished sixth in the semifinals and will compete in the Petite Finals.
“The first varsity eight has beaten most of the boats they will face in the Petite final, either during the season or here at the championships,” Teitelbaum said. “I think we can get the best out of all three boats tomorrow.”